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Traders mark 25 years

PUBLISHED: 11:37 20 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:57 25 August 2010

THE BUSINESS: The roofless Greenwich market in 1950.

THE BUSINESS: The roofless Greenwich market in 1950.

MUSIC performances, free food tasting and craft demonstrations will mark the 25th anniversary of a popular market.

MUSIC performances, free food tasting and craft demonstrations will mark the 25th anniversary of a popular market.

Celebrations for Greenwich Market will take place tomorrow at 12 noon, and will culminate with Nick Raynsford MP unveiling a clock to mark the milestone.

The clock was made by renowned market trader Les Grayson, 60, from Abbey Wood, who has kept his stall since the very beginning of the market, which started selling arts and crafts in 1985.

Ali Paton, 49, from Greenwich who has sold jewellery on her stall far 25 years, said: "I love it here, it's a real community of creative people. It's difficult work but I really enjoy what I'm doing so I hang in there. It has changed immensely. It's a design-led market at the cutting edge of fashion for new designer makers.

"The people are the best thing about the market. You meet amazing, creative eccentric people here. It's the most creative market in London. We bounce off each other."

The market dates from 1700 when it was a wholesale market.

In 1944 flying bombs caused extensive damage in Greenwich which caused the market to loose its roof covering.

It became a fruit and vegetable market between 1960 to 1982 when the upper parts of the market were converted into office and studio space.

The current indoor market, which started selling arts and crafts in 1985, is made up of 150 stalls including a food section.

Les Grayson said: "It has changed a lot. When I started, there was no trading on Sundays. Lots of people have come and gone.

"I build up trust with the customers and they keep coming back."

After starting out with a stall, the creators of Arty Globe who produce hand drawn art and stationary moved into a shop also based in the market which was opened six months later.

Commercial director of Arty Globe, Isaac Lilos, 36 from Lewisham said: "The philosophy here is to help creative people.

"I love it because of the people who come here. It's a little gem which is not yet discovered."

The market opens at 10am, and live music plays from 12pm.

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